CHARLESTON, S.C. — Calling himself the candidate the far left fears the most, Sen. Tim Scott kicked off his presidential bid here at Charleston Southern University on Monday with a message of freedom, hope, and opportunity for all Americans.
The private Baptist college is Scott's alma mater, located in his hometown of North Charleston.
"Our nation, our values, and our people are strong, but our president is weak," he said. "I will be the president who stops the far left's assault on our religious liberty. I will preserve one nation, under God, indivisible — where we honor our Creator and respect every innocent life."
Scott is the only black Republican in the Senate and describes himself as a born-again believer. He says the left weaponizes race to divide America, but as a black Republican senator, he says he disrupts their narratives.
"Today, our country is once again being tested," he shared when announcing his exploratory committee for president. "Once again, our divisions run deep and the threat to our future is real. Joe Biden and the radical left have chosen a culture of grievance over greatness. They're promoting victimhood instead of personal responsibility and they're indoctrinating our children to believe we live in an evil country."
He continued, "Because I disrupt their narrative, I threaten their control. They know the truth of my life disproves their lies."
"See, I was raised by a single mother in poverty. The spoons in our apartment were plastic, not silver," he explained. "But we had faith. We put in the work and we had an unwavering belief that we too could live the American dream. I know America is the land of opportunity, not a land of oppression. I know it because I've lived it. That's why it pains my soul to see the Biden liberals attacking every rung of the ladder that helped me climb."
"If the radical left gets their way, millions more families will be trapped in failing schools, crime-ridden neighborhoods, and crushing inflation," he added.
"But not on my watch. This is personal to me. I will never back down in defense of the conservative values that make America exceptional."
Scott joins several other candidates challenging former President Donald Trump for the 2024 GOP nomination.
Other declared challengers include Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Asa Hutchinson. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is reportedly announcing his run this Wednesday, and former Vice President Mike Pence is rumored to be not far behind.